Author: Robin Wasserman
Date of publication: May 2016
Three girls went into the woods; two came out.
It sounds like a joke, or a riddle. But it was only, would ever after be, the rest of our life.
Shortly after Halloween, 1991, the local high-school basketball star is found in the woods near Battle Creek, Pennsylvania, with a bullet in his head and a gun in his hand—a discovery that sends tremors through this conservative community, already unnerved by growing rumors of satanic worship in the region.
In the wake of this incident, bright but lonely Hannah Dexter is befriended by Lacey Champlain, a dark-eyed, Cobain-worshipping bad influence. Lacey forges a fast, intimate bond with the impressionable Dex, making her over in her own image—and unleashing a fierce defiance with unexpected and harrowing consequences. By turns a shocking story of love and violence and an addictive portrait of the intoxication of female friendship, Girls on Fire is an incendiary and unforgettable snapshot of girlhood: girls lost and found, girls weak and strong, girls who burn bright and brighter—and girls who flicker away.
If you are looking for a deeply disturbing and dark look at teenage life gone bad, then Girls on Fire is the book for you. I have to be honest, I really didn't care for this book. It wasn't the mystery/thriller I thought I was getting. I was looking forward to reading it, but I got about 60% through and just couldn't go on. The story is told through alternating points of view from the two main characters. I kept trying, but I didn't find any of the characters likable.
I felt like everything was a bit over the top. Like the author kept trying to have the characters one up each other. Like who can destroy their life faster and in a worse way? Lacey's section were too disturbing for my taste. The lack of parental involvement was astonishing. Even Dex, who came from a normal background. had a father who actively encouraged his daughter to sneak out to party. When Lacey talked about flirting and kissing Dex's father, I knew I was done and put it down pretty soon after that part.
I'm sure there is an audience for this book. I just don't happen to be one of them. I think this is going to be a book you either love or hate. I have seen some people classify this as YA even though it is the author's first adult book. But I found it too graphic for YA readers, so please be warned.
About Robin Wasserman
Robin Wasserman is a graduate of Harvard University and the author of several successful novels for young adults. A recent recipient of a MacDowell fellowship, she lives in Brooklyn, New York. Girls on Fire is her first novel for adults.
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